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Herding Cats Or Persuading Automotive Dealerships Into Digital Advertising

Officially established by Henry Ford in 1903, the automotive industry is over one hundred years old. Unfortunately, so are their advertising methods. Attempts to guide them toward online advertising can be as frustrating as herding cats.

At a time when most automobile drivers are glued to their mobile devices, one would think that automotive would have been one of the first industries on board. The manufacturers do utilize digital advertising to an extent, but their franchises are slower to the punch. They don’t seem to understand how digital advertising works or how it can benefit them.

Companies like Digonary are forming to help take the mystique out of digital advertising, especially the important role of retargeting. In a sample presentation, the automotive client is shown side by side graphs on how their advertising dollars are being spent on traditional advertising and how they could be spent on digital advertising. Graphs depicting locations where potential customers currently spend their time is also presented.

One of the most important platforms presented to the automobile franchise is retargeting. Once a potential customer visits the franchise’s website, a cookie is placed in their IP address which then follows the customer wherever they go online, serving banner ads that gently remind the customer that the franchise is there and ready to assist them.

Retargeting serves the same purpose for the franchise as newspaper ads did in the past. It gets the dealer’s name and brand out into the world, lists the current offer, and provides contact in the form of a button to click which redirects the viewer to the dealer’s website where all the current deals and services are listed. Unlike a newspaper, retargeting banners follow the customer around the Internet, appearing wherever their eyes are, quietly reinforcing the brand. Also, unlike a newspaper, a banner ad gathers information on the potential customer so the dealer can personalize the offers by directing the URL on the clicked button to specific landing pages for specific deals or services. The only thing a banner ad cannot do is line the bottom of a birdcage.

Retargeting is also much less expensive than newspaper ads, a point that hits home to the small franchise owner. For the cost of a full-page ad in a newspaper, they can retarget on the Internet for a month, only paying for the customers that actually click through the banners, although some companies charge for the total number of impressions served. Digonary employs the former method which offers the dealer more bang for his buck.

Once the automotive franchise owner understands the benefits of advertising on the digital level, they are more likely to spend their dollars there. Online advertising is the present and the future.

People once thought television was a fad that wouldn’t last and see where we are now.